NEW YORK (AP) - Jonathan Majors' former girlfriend testified Tuesday that the actor was prone to fits of explosive rage, an escalating pattern that she said ultimately led to her assault in the backseat of a car and his career-halting arrest this past spring.
During hours of tearful testimony, Grace Jabbari traced the downfall of her relationship with Majors, who she described as a “kind and loving” partner increasingly unable to control his “violent temper.” She said he hurled household objects at walls and often threatened to take his own life, at times referring to himself as a “monster.”
“It felt like I was walking around on eggshells,” said Jabbari, a 30-year-old professional dancer from the United Kingdom. “I had to be perfect.”
The troubled romance came to a head on the evening of March 25th, as the couple were riding back to Manhattan from a dinner already marred by a heated argument over Majors' recent outbursts, she told the jury. During the drive, Jabbari was leaning on his shoulder when he received a “romantic” text message sent by a woman named Cleopatra.
After she snatched the phone out of his hands, she said Majors twisted her arm behind her back in a position that left her in “excruciating” pain. “Next I felt a really hard blow across my head,” she said, pantomiming the motion of an open hand making contact with the back of her skull.
“He's very strong. I couldn't move,” Jabbari continued. “It feels very loud when you're hit in the head and just shocking.”
Majors eventually pried the phone from her hands and took off through the streets of Lower Manhattan as Jabbari chased him, according to a video compilation taken from various surveillance cameras that was shown to jurors.
The testimony came on the second day of the trial against Majors, a rising Hollywood film actor whose portrayal of the comic book supervillain “Kang the Conqueror” was set to anchor the next phase of the Marvel cinematic universe.
The fate of those films and others starring Majors remains uncertain since his arrest in March for allegedly assaulting Jabbari in the back of the car. An attorney for Majors has maintained that she was the instigator of the confrontation and suggested that race - Majors is Black; Jabbari is white - may have factored into his arrest and prosecution.
The actor avoided eye contact with his former girlfriend for much of the day's testimony on Tuesday, scribbling notes to his lawyer or thumbing through his gold-leafed Bible as she recounted how he quickly toggled from emotionally sensitive to abusive.
“It was confusing,” she said, “because I felt scared of him, but quite dependent on him.”
In the summer of 2022, while struggling with a grueling diet and exercise regimen for his role as a bodybuilder in the film “Magazine Dreams,” Majors became “full of rage and aggression” without explanation, Jabbari said.
He lashed out at her, she recalled, throwing objects during one argument that left dents in the walls and sent her ducking for cover in their West Hollywood home.
A few months later, while filming in England, Majors allegedly blew up on Jabbari again after she came home from a bar “tipsy” with a friend. In a recording played for the court, Majors can be heard berating his girlfriend for not living up to the standards set by other spouses of famous men, like Coretta Scott King and Michelle Obama.
“I'm a great man. A great man!” Majors declared. “There needs to be a great woman who makes sacrifices.”
On Tuesday, Jabbari also addressed a series of videos - likely to be a subject of cross-examination by Majors' lawyers - that showed her partying in a Manhattan nightclub hours after the alleged assault.
Speaking to jurors, Jabbari said she had met a group of “generous” strangers on a corner after chasing Majors out of the vehicle following the attack.
“The worst thing in my head would've been to go back to the empty apartment we shared in that moment,” Jabbari said. Acknowledging that she can be seen on videos smiling, dancing, and taking shots with the new friends, she added: “I was having the nicest time I could've had within the situation.”
Jabbari is expected to return to the stand on Wednesday.